Whanganui welcomes new citizens

Published on March 27, 2023

citizenship ceremony March 2023

The first citizenship ceremony of 2023 was held on Wednesday, 15 March, in the Whanganui District Council Chamber. The ceremony was led by Mayor Andrew Tripe who formally recognised 29 new citizens to Aotearoa.

The guests swore an oath or affirmation of allegiance and were gifted a small native plant to commemorate the occasion. Kaumatua John Maihi welcomed the new citizens with a karakia, and a waiata and the national anthem were sung.

Mayor Andrew Tripe acknowledged it was a special occasion for him “as a new mayor to be able to welcome this diverse group as our newly recognised New Zealanders.”

“Some of our new citizens may have already been here for a while, and some will have just arrived to New Zealand. Either way, they are all important members of our community. Not only is Whanganui being enriched with new perspectives, but our cultural diversity continues to develop and deepen and I thank everyone for being a part of that.

“It’s exciting to have people choosing New Zealand, and specifically Whanganui, as their new place to call home,” Mayor Tripe says. “I hope all our new residents feel a sense of belonging here, because we are certainly happy to have them.”

The new citizens are: Miguel Angel Leguizamon (Argentina), Aswathy Santhosh, Santhosh Kumar Rankanatha Shenoy, Rekha Santhosh (India), Oliver Barnard (New Zealand), Tracey Ann Barnard (United Kingdom), Matthys Gerhardus Barnard (South Africa), Adam Michael Geoffrey Crick (England), Eva Aniko Simons (United Kingdom), Deen Wyldy Grant Simons (South Africa), Mark Trevor Hetherington (United Kingdom), Ranra Khanzada, Hashim Khanzada (Pakistan), Jason Kruger (Australia), Aibel Antony, Beena Babu (India), Jeanne Margaret Kay, Benjamin Robert Kay (United Kingdom), Beth Louise Lamb (Australia), Harpreet Singh (India), Yaimara Diaz Bruzon (Cuba), Kunarat Lister (Thailand), Anumol Raju, Nazareth Kuriakose Vazhavannoor, Ann Mariam Nazareth, Basil Rojees, Rojees Payyappilly Poulose, Nicy Rojees (India), Fauagiga Ah Ching (Samoa).